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Growing and learning everyday: James’ Big Life journey

“The connection that I have with clients now is unreal. I see myself growing and learning everyday with Big Life. They have given me the chance I needed”.

First as an Achieve service user, then as a volunteer and now as an Assertive Outreach Worker with Achieve, James Carter turned his life around and used his experience of 15 years of addiction to help others.

“I had previously spent 15 years of my life dominated by alcohol addiction. At my lowest point, I could hear sirens as I lay in an ambulance, facing death. My recovery started when I was put in touch with Achieve who helped me get my life back on track. The support I received was life-changing! It made me want to work in drug and alcohol services and use my experience of recovery to give something back to others.”

James enrolled with the recover academy at Achieve and completed a range of courses where he gained the key skills that he needed to get his working life back on track.

“Slowly, but surely, my confidence was growing, and I wanted to take the next step. With the support and encouragement of the Community Development team at Achieve I started volunteering on a local community project.”

After volunteering for almost two years, James felt like he was ready to go after paid work, so he started applying for vacancies. He successfully applied for a job at Big Life and now works at Achieve, as an Assertive Outreach Worker, supporting people who are in addiction and facing the same up-hill battle that went through.

“The connection that I have with clients now is unreal. I see myself growing and learning everyday with Big Life. They have given me the chance I needed. My managers, Donna and Kirsty, are invaluable. They are always here for me with any problems I have – it’s a really caring team.”